May 5, 2005

In its restaurants Carls Jr. sells beef burgers, but in its TV commercials it serves up a broadcast pig


NEW YORK (May 26, 2005) – On May 23, a California mother with elementary school children called Morality in Media to complain about a new Carl’s Jr. ad airing on broadcast TV starring Paris Hilton.

Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media, had the following comment:

“First it was Hugh Hefner, who founded a sex empire that in the 1950s brought soft core pornography into the mainstream and that now pumps hardcore pornography into millions of homes via pay TV channels, using sexual innuendo to promote Carl’s Jr. fast food.

“Now it is Paris Hilton, whose rise to fame hinged in part on a pornographic home video featuring none other than Paris herself, performing in a lascivious manner to promote Carl’s Jr. fast food.

“The Paris Hilton ad is also being used on the and websites to promote the popular Hardee’s, another chain owned by CKE Restaurants, Inc.

“I would still object to the Hilton ad, but at least I would understand if the ad were promoting a company like Abercrombie & Fitch that decided it didn’t need the business of mature adults.

“But I don’t see how Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s can prosper without the patronage of millions of adults who are concerned about the erosion of decency in the mainstream media and the effects that pornography and ‘popular culture’ (like the prurient Carl’s Jr. ad) are having on youth.

“Barring an emergency, I won’t be stopping at Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s in the future, and I would encourage other adults who are concerned about the decline of moral values to also pass them by.

“I would also encourage adults who see the Paris Hilton ad on broadcast TV and who are offended by it to make an indecency complaint to the Federal Communications Commission at The FCC defines indecent to include patently offensive depictions of sexual activities; and if the oozing with sex performance by Paris Hilton didn’t depict sexual activities, what did it depict? As the ad’s director put it in an interview, ‘One of the things you can expect to see is pure hotness.’

“Had the Carl’s Jr. ad aired on HBO, I suspect that few viewers would have objected, but as the Supreme Court observed in a 1978 case upholding the broadcast indecency law, ‘a nuisance may be merely a right thing in a wrong place – like a pig in the parlor instead of the barnyard.'” Author: MIM 05/26/2005

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